Navigating Windows Network Permissions: A Guide to Resolving Access Denials


  • Upon entering the network location, it prompts me for credentials. Even after I input my credentials from the Windows Credential File, it denies access, despite the file’s permissions being set to allow reading by Everyone, my personal user account, my Microsoft account, and the Network.
  • Additionally, I’m uncertain if I’m actually connecting to the network because it requests credentials regardless of whether the file is password-protected, and it won’t proceed beyond this screen unless I enter my Windows credentials correctly.
  • This

issue persists whether I attempt it in a virtual machine or with two physical machines. Could you provide any guidance on this matter?”


When attempting to deploy a Windows system image over a network, it’s not uncommon to encounter credential prompts and access denial, even when all permissions seem correctly set. This can be a perplexing issue, especially when the file sharing permissions are configured to allow access to ‘Everyone’, including specific user accounts. Let’s address the two main concerns you’ve raised:

1. Credential Prompts Despite Correct Permissions:

The network location prompting for credentials despite having set permissions for ‘Everyone’ can be due to several reasons. One common cause is the Windows security policy that restricts access to network locations when the guest account is disabled or when network sharing is set to use 128-bit encryption. To resolve this, ensure that:

  • The guest account is enabled, or you have a dedicated user account with the correct permissions set up on the network share.
  • The network sharing options are configured to allow file sharing for devices that use 40- or 56-bit encryption.

2. Uncertainty of Network Connection:

The system asking for credentials, irrespective of the actual security settings of the file, indicates that the network path is being recognized, but there’s a breakdown in the authentication process. This could be due to:

  • Incorrect DNS settings that fail to resolve the network path correctly.
  • Firewall or antivirus software blocking the connection.
  • Network discovery being turned off on either the host or client machine.
  • To ensure you’re actually connecting to the network, verify the following:

  • The DNS settings are correct, and the network path resolves to the intended target.
  • Disable the firewall temporarily to check if it’s causing the issue.
  • Turn on network discovery on all involved machines.

In Virtual Machines and Physical Machines:

The persistence of this issue across virtual and physical machines suggests a common denominator in the network settings or the way credentials are being handled. It’s crucial to ensure that the virtual machine’s network adapter is set to the correct mode (e.g., Bridged, NAT, or Host-Only) to facilitate proper network communication.


Network re-imaging can be a complex process, but by methodically checking network permissions, encryption settings, DNS configurations, and firewall rules, you can pinpoint the cause of the credential issues and access denials. Remember to revert any temporary changes made for testing purposes, such as disabling the firewall, to maintain security.

I hope this article provides clarity and assists you in resolving the network re-imaging challenge. If you require further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to a network administrator or a Windows support professional.

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